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Final Exam Questions- POLS 7400s Public Administration

Final Exam Questions- POLS 7400s Public Administration

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Published by Noah Franklin
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Published by: Noah Franklin on Dec 15, 2012
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Urban Policy and Administration Master Degree ProgramPolitical Science DepartmentBrooklyn CollegePOLS 7400X: Public Administration
Final Exam- Fall 2012
You must answer at least one essay question for both the PublicAdministration and Labor sections.
Each essay should be approximately 3-4 pages, single-spaced.
Take-home final exam questions should be submitted via email toNFranklin@brooklyn.cuny.eduby Thursday, December 20th at 6:00pm.
There will be no make-ups for the final exam, and late submissions will NOTbe accepted.
For the Public Administration section of the take-home exam, you can either answerquestion 1,
the two essay topics for question 2. When you turn in your exam, pleaseindicate which question you chose to answer for this section.
Question 1.
Consider this situation: Five years from now you find yourself working as the head of the Parks and Recreation Department in Yonkers, Westchester. The city's budget is verytight. You are considering budget proposals for next year, which you will present to theCity Council next month. An analyst on your staff, working on the budget for the Parksand Recreation Department, shows you a request in that budget for construction of a newice-skating rink in the wealthier part of town. He shows you a sophisticated cost-benefitanalysis that he has done of the project, which demonstrates that the project's costs aresubstantially more than its benefits.You call the Mayor of Yonkers, explain the analysis to her and propose eliminating theice rink project from the upcoming budget. The Mayor, an astute politician, responds,"You know as well as I do that the residents in that part of town vote, and that they wantthis ice rink. Further, the Council Member from that district is planning on runningagainst me next year and this will give him the ammunition he needs to beat me and putyou out of a job. Your fancy cost-benefit analysis is nice, but it isn't relevant in the real
world of government. Put the ice rink back in and we'll close the park on the poor side of town instead to plug the hole in our budget."You indicate your sense of indecision to your staff member. Incensed, he tells you,"When you hired me you told me that we would make the right decisions, and not beboxed in by politics. You are selling out, and if you go through with this, you will havemy resignation letter on your desk the next morning."Confused, you call your old professor. He says, "Remember in your program that youlearned about the dichotomy between politics and administration. As you may recall, Iargued in class that good decisions in government are able to synthesize both concerns.And don't worry about your job."Using the story as a context, please answer both part A and B questions:A. This story relates to the on-going debate throughout the history of the field of publicadministration regarding the separation of politics and administration. Is it essential tohave such a separation of politics and administration in cases such as this one? How doesthat influence the role of a public administrator?B. In carrying out any public policy, the public administrator is challenged to satisfymultiple values -
traditionally framed in the three E’s of efficiency, effectiveness, and
equity (often referred to as social equity). In relation to the story above, in what ways isthe public administrator challenged to balance these values?
Question 2.
Please answer both parts A and B:A. Extensive public administration research has discussed the role of street levelbureaucrats in the administration of public services. Much of this research has focused onwhether (and to what end) these front-line government employees have discretion in theirday-to-day work. Write an essay in which you explain why this issue is so important tothe field of public administration. What are the consequences if street-level bureaucratshave discretion? What are the consequences if they do not have discretion?B. A fundamental assumption of administrative reformers in the late 1800s and early1900s was that politics could have only adverse affects on administration. How valid isthat belief? Why? How, and to what extent, do current administrative structures andpractices reflect that assumption? In your essay also explain how each of [a.] WoodrowWilson and [b.] Luther Gulick 
directly or indirectly treated the ‘politics
dichotomy’ concept.
Also, discuss the other contributions made by Luther Gulick to thedevelopment of public administration as a discipline.
For the Labor section, you can either answer one of the first three questions,
answerboth parts A. and B. for question four. When you turn in your exam, please indicatewhich question(s) you choose to answer for this section.
Question 1.
In considering the function of public-sector unions, some have argued that if they doanything at all, it is to advocate for the economic interests of their members at theexpense of others. Through political advocacy, they assert that unions- such as theUnited Federation of Teachers (UFT)- seek to protect their members' claims on futuregovernment revenue (such as raises or salary increases) and to protect the terms of theircontract agreements.Discuss whether unionized government workers should be allowed to influence thesovereignty of government officials in
deciding workers’ salaries
and the terms of contracts. Explain whether or not public employee unions have advantages have thatmakes the exploitation of government officials more likely.
Question 2.
It has been asserted that the reasons why workers join labor unions is because they a.hope to advance a particular political and social agenda; b. hope to improve their livesgenerally; c. are dissatisfied with their working conditions; and d. are opposed to the freemarket system. Please select which one or more items that you think are the mainreasons why workers, especially those in the public sector, join unions and discuss your justification(s).
Question 3.
Traditional methods in collective bargaining negotiations that focus on defending statedpositions are more likely to break down because the parties become too invested in theirpositions instead of trying to uncover new option.Discuss an example that clearly illustrates the difference between positions and interestsin collective bargaining negotiations. Also, be sure to answer the following questions:Why is this difference important to bargaining? Why is it difficult for labor negotiators toswitch from traditional positions to interest- focused negotiations? Whatrecommendations would you make for negotiators trying to make this switch? Why mightit be more difficult for union negotiators to make this change compared to managementnegotiators?
Question 4.
Please answer both part A and B:

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